Law & Order (franchise)
Law & Order is a media franchise composed of a number of related American television series created by Dick Wolf and produced by Wolf Entertainment. They were originally broadcast on NBC, and all of them deal with some aspect of the criminal justice system. Together, the original series, its various spin-offs, the TV film, and crossover episodes from other shows constitute over 1,000 hours of programming.
|Law & Order|
|Created by||Dick Wolf|
|Original work||Law & Order|
|Films and television|
|Related TV series|
Shared people and resources in a common fictional setting are the connecting links between the shows, e.g., Hudson University and the New York Ledger tabloid newspaper. Many supporting characters, such as district attorneys, psychologists, and medical examiners are also shared among the shows. Occasionally, crossovers of main characters or shared storylines between two of the shows will occur. A few major characters have also left the cast of one show within the franchise only to eventually join another. The music, style, and credits of the shows tend to be similar, with the voiceover in the opening of every series performed by Steven Zirnkilton. The shows share the iconic "dun, dun" sound effect of a jail cell locking, created, along with the theme songs, by Mike Post. Past episodes of the American series are in syndication with local over-the-air stations, along with cable channels such as USA Network and Bravo (both owned by the franchise's production company, NBCUniversal), TNT, WGN America, Ion Television, and AMC Networks' SundanceTV and WeTV, showing episodes sometimes up to six times a day.
In October 2012, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner/executive producer Warren Leight said of the future of the Law & Order franchise, "[Dick Wolf and I] sometimes talk in general terms of where (the franchise) could go. I'm curious to see if there's another iteration somewhere down the line," he says. "We try hard to maintain a certain level of quality which I think is why the shows sustained in reruns so well. And I'd like to believe there's room for another generation in some way." In February 2015, NBC was purported to have interest in bringing back the flagship Law & Order as a limited series. As of February 2016, NBC has not publicly announced intentions to revive the original series.
As of September 23, 2021, 1,199 episodes of the Law & Order franchise have aired.
Law & Order: Special Victims UnitEdit
- 22 seasons, 494 episodes (September 20, 1999 – present)
SVU follows the cases investigated by NYPD Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and her Manhattan Special Victims Unit colleagues. The show's focus is on detectives who investigate sexually based crimes and crimes against children, the elderly, and the disabled. At the start of season twenty-two, these detectives included characters portrayed by Jamie Gray Hyder, Kelli Giddish and Ice-T, while Peter Scanavino and Demore Barnes co-star. Season twenty-two premiered on November 12, 2020. In February 2020, the series was renewed through the 24th season.
Law & Order: Organized CrimeEdit
- 1 season, 8 episodes (April 1, 2021 – present)
Organized Crime follows the cases investigated by former SVU detective, Elliot Stabler as part of the task force within the Organized Crime Control Bureau. The show's focus is on detectives who investigate mobsters and other criminal syndicates. On March 31, 2020, NBC ordered a 13-episode season to a then-untitled Special Victims Unit spin-off starring Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler, now in a NYPD organized crime task force. Meloni had previously starred on SVU from 1999 to 2011. The show's title was confirmed to be Law & Order: Organized Crime. Writer Craig Gore was fired from the series in June following backlash from a social media post. When NBC announced its fall schedule on June 16, Organized Crime was the only new show on the schedule, slotted for Thursdays at 10 p.m. Eastern. Due to filming stoppages related to COVID-19, the season was shortened to eight episodes and premiered on April 1, 2021. In May 2021, the series was renewed for a second season.
Law & OrderEdit
- 20 seasons, 456 episodes (September 13, 1990 – May 24, 2010)
Law & Order, a crime procedural, features both a police investigation of a crime discovered during the cold open, and a prosecution case set forth by the New York County District Attorney, at the Manhattan DA's office. The first thirty minutes of an episode typically features a lead detective trio (in the final season, Jeremy Sisto, Anthony Anderson, and S. Epatha Merkerson), while the second thirty minutes follows their legal counterparts (in the final season, Alana de la Garza, Linus Roache, and Sam Waterston). On May 14, 2010, NBC announced that it was canceling the original series, although various spin-offs will continue. The series finale aired on May 24, 2010. Wolf briefly attempted to continue the series on cable, but the series "moved into the history books".
It has been said that a miniseries featuring the casts of both Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and CI was in development somewhere between 2000-2001. But because of 9/11 out of respect it was scrapped. The series would’ve featured a storyline about bio weapons to commit mass destruction.
Law & Order: Criminal IntentEdit
- 10 seasons, 195 episodes (September 30, 2001 – June 26, 2011)
Criminal Intent focuses on high-profile cases investigated by the Major Case Squad. Special attention is given to the actions of the criminals pursued, often including scenes from the victim's or perpetrator's lives not involving the police, thereby providing a hint as to the "criminal intent". The detectives depicted (Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe for the majority of the series, including the final season) will often attempt to infiltrate the mind of the suspect. Julia Ormond and Jay O. Sanders also star in the tenth season of the series. Unique to the franchise, pairs of detectives alternate episodes during seasons 5-8. On July 15, 2011, USA Network co-president Jeff Wachtel confirmed Law & Order: CI would end with its tenth season.
Law & Order: Trial by JuryEdit
- 1 season, 13 episodes (March 3, 2005 – January 21, 2006)
Trial by Jury, starring Bebe Neuwirth, Amy Carlson, and Jerry Orbach, followed the preparation by the legal teams, both prosecution and defense, for a jury trial. This was the first Law & Order spin-off to be canceled due to low ratings. Orbach's death (which occurred while the show was in production) was another factor in the show's cancellation.
Law & Order: LAEdit
- 1 season, 22 episodes (September 29, 2010 – July 11, 2011)
Originally titled Law & Order: Los Angeles, LA was the first American Law & Order series set outside of New York City. As with the original series, the first half hour of the show focused on the police investigation of a crime discovered in the cold open; the second half took place at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and focused on the prosecution of the criminal suspect(s). On May 13, 2011, Law & Order: LA was canceled by NBC after only one season, but did not air its final episode until July 11, 2011.
Law & Order True CrimeEdit
- 1 season, 8 episodes (September 26 – November 14, 2017; on hiatus)
In April 2016, Wolf and NBC announced they were working on True Crime, a scripted anthology series that will follow one significant true-to-life case per season. Season one, titled Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders stars Edie Falco as Leslie Abramson, Gaston Villanueva as Lyle Menendez, and Gus Halper as Erik Menendez. It premiered on September 26, 2017 and concluded its first season on November 14. The series is currently on hiatus.
Law & Order: Hate CrimesEdit
In September 2018, NBC announced that it had given an order of 13 episodes of the latest installment of the franchise, entitled Law & Order: Hate Crimes, which would be introduced on Law & Order: SVU. Later on March 4, 2019, NBC said that the series would be heading back into redevelopment to flesh out the concept and such an introduction on SVU would not take place. The series was once again touted in 2020 as part of a multi-year contract signed with creator Dick Wolf. The series would likely move to Peacock due to language concerns as of June 2020.
Law & Order: For the DefenseEdit
NBC had given a straight-to-series order to Law & Order: For the Defense on May 3, 2021, a new legal drama from creator Wolf, to take a look inside a criminal defense firm. The premise of the ordered series was to put defense attorneys under the microscope, along with the criminal justice system, with every week delivering the promise of a contemporary morality tale. On May 14, NBC announced that the series would premiere during the 2021–22 television season, leading off a trio of Law & Order franchise series on Thursdays in the same manner as the network's Wednesday Chicago grouping. On July 15, multiple trade publications reported that NBC and Wolf had mutually agreed to scrap the series, which had not yet cast any roles, and that a different spin-off is in the works.
The Law & Order franchise has one TV film, Exiled: A Law & Order Movie (1998). Chris Noth reprises his role as Mike Logan, as the film explores what happened to the character following his departure from the original series.
The franchise has also spawned a series of video games for the PC, which feature appearances by then-current cast members of the TV series.
The typical course of most of the games follows the original series' format with the player investigating a crime with interviews of witnesses and examination of evidence. After the arrest is made, the player then prosecutes the case with challenges such as selecting appropriate questions for witnesses on the stand, recognizing improper questions to raise objections and selecting the most persuasive arguments for the judge to allow certain evidence in court.
In the criminal justice system, some killers are so depraved that it takes multiple police agencies to bring them to justice. This is one of those investigations.
– Special crossover opening narration spoken by Steven Zirnkilton
The following table lists all the crossover stories in the Law & Order franchise.
|Crossover between||Episode title||Actors appearing outside their series||Date broadcast||Description||Type|
|Series A||Series B||Series C|
|Homicide||Law & Order||N/A||"Law & Disorder"
|Appearing in Series A: Chris Noth||February 24, 1995||Det. Mike Logan meets with Pembleton to hand over a fugitive who fled from Baltimore to New York City.||Cameo|
|New York Undercover||Law & Order||N/A||"Smack is Back"
(New York Undercover S03E07)
|Appearing in Series A: Carolyn McCormick||November 7, 1996||After an on-the-job incident, Detective Nina Moreno goes to Dr. Elizabeth Olivet for counseling.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order||Homicide||N/A||"Charm City"
(Law & Order S06E13)
"For God and Country"
|Appearing in Series A: Richard Belzer, Kyle Secor, Andre Braugher
Appearing in Series B: Benjamin Bratt, Jerry Orbach, Jill Hennessy
|February 7, 1996
February 9, 1996
|Briscoe and Curtis clash with Pembleton and Bayliss, who have come to New York to investigate a subway explosion resembling an unsolved bombing in Baltimore from five years ago. The investigation soon leads to a larger conspiracy.||Two–part crossover|
|Law & Order||Homicide||N/A||"Baby, It's You"
(Law & Order S08E06)
|Appearing in Series A: Richard Belzer, Jon Seda
Yaphet Kotto, Željko Ivanek
Appearing in Series B: Benjamin Bratt, Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterston, Carey Lowell
|November 12, 1997
November 14, 1997
|Falsone and Munch team up with Briscoe and Curtis to investigate the murder of a 14-year-old girl. They trace the suspect from New York back to Baltimore.||Two–part crossover|
|Law & Order||Homicide||N/A||"Sideshow"
(Law & Order S09E14)
|Appearing in Series A: Richard Belzer, Michael Michele, Željko Ivanek
Appearing in Series B: Benjamin Bratt, Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterston
|February 17, 1999
February 19, 1999
|Briscoe and Curtis re-team up with Munch and Sheppard to investigate the murder of a government worker and expose a connection to the White House.||Two–part crossover|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order||N/A||"...Or Just Look Like One"
(Law & Order: SVU S01E03)
|Appearing in Series A: Jesse L. Martin, Jerry Orbach, Carolyn McCormick||October 4, 1999||Detectives Briscoe and Green assist the 16th precinct when their homicide victim was also a witness in an SVU case. Meanwhile, Detective Stabler seeks the advice from Dr. Elizabeth Olivet regarding his daughter and anorexia.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order||N/A||"Entitled"
(Law & Order: SVU S01E15)
(Law & Order S10E14)
|Appearing in Series A: Angie Harmon, Steven Hill, Jesse L. Martin, Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterston
Appearing in Series B: Dann Florek, Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Richard Belzer
|February 18, 2000||The detectives of Special Victims Unit team with the 27th Precinct to investigate a salesman's murder, leading them to a politically influential family. When the case goes to court, McCoy finds the matriarch to be a formidable opponent.||Two–part crossover|
|Law & Order||Law & Order: SVU||N/A||"Fools for Love"
(Law & Order S10E15)
|Appearing in Series A: Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni||February 23, 2000||Detectives Benson and Stabler assist the 27th precinct in tracking down a murder suspect.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Law & Order||N/A||"One"
(Law & Order: CI S01E01)
|Appearing in Series A: Dianne Wiest||September 30, 2001||Detective Goren and ADA Carver work to assure District Attorney Nora Lewin's confidence in their handling of a murder case.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Law & Order||N/A||"Poison"
(Law & Order: CI S01E07)
|Appearing in Series A: Jesse L. Martin, Jerry Orbach||November 11, 2001||Major Case Detectives Goren and Eames talk to Homicide Detectives Briscoe and Green about a homicide case that may be connected to their cyanide poisoning case.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Law & Order||N/A||"Badge"
(Law & Order: CI S01E20)
|Appearing in Series A: S. Epatha Merkerson||April 28, 2002||Detectives Goren and Eames question Lt. Anita Van Buren about a former police officer she wrote a letter of recommendation for who is now a suspect in a string of murders.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order||Law & Order:
Trial by Jury
(Law & Order S15E20)
(Law & Order: Trial by Jury S01E08)
|Appearing in Series B: Dennis Farina, Jesse L. Martin, S. Epatha Merkerson, Sam Waterston, Richard Belzer||April 13 & 15, 2005||Green is shot while taking a murder witness to trial, leading Fontana to team up with Salazar and uncover ties to a porn magnate.||Two–part crossover|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order:
Trial by Jury
(Law & Order: SVU S06E20)
(Law & Order: Trial by Jury S01E11)
|Appearing in Series A: Bebe Neuwirth, Kirk Acevedo, Fred Dalton Thompson
Appearing in Series B: Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Diane Neal, Tamara Tunie, Carolyn McCormick
|May 3, 2005||A man is suspected of rape and facts about his adolescence are revealed at his trial.||Two–part crossover|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order||N/A||"Design"
(Law & Order: SVU S07E02)
(Law & Order S16E02)
|Appearing in Series B: Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T||September 27–28, 2005||A mother-daughter con team get away with fraud, then are tried for murder.||Two–part crossover|
|Conviction||Law & Order||N/A||"Pilot"
|Appearing in Series A: Fred Dalton Thompson||March 3, 2006||When an ADA is assassinated, Alexandra Cabot begins work as a New York Bureau Chief, while District Attorney Arthur Branch rallies the troops.||Cameo|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent||In Plain Sight||N/A||"Contract"
(Law & Order: CI S07E12)
|Appearing in Series A: Mary McCormack||June 15, 2008||When a celebrity gossip columnist is murdered, Deputy Marshall Mary Shannon's investigation into suspect Frank Chess leads her to Logan and Wheeler in New York.||Cameo|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order: LA||N/A||"Behave"
(Law & Order: SVU S12E03)
|Appearing in Series A: Skeet Ulrich||September 29, 2010||Detective Olivia Benson works with LAPD Detective Rex Winters in Los Angeles to uncover evidence to help convict a rapist back in New York.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order: LA||N/A||"Reparations"
(Law & Order: SVU S12E21)
|Appearing in Series A: Terrence Howard||April 6, 2011||Deputy District Attorney Joe Dekker heads to New York from LA to defend his cousin when he's accused of rape.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||N/A||"Acceptable Loss"
(Law & Order: SVU S14E04)
|Appearing in Series A: Kathryn Erbe||October 17, 2012||Following her departure from the Major Case Squad, Joint Task Force Lieutenant Alexandra Eames intercepts the SVU's investigation into sex trafficking, when one of the victims are suspected of terrorism.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||N/A||"Poisoned Motive"
(Law & Order: SVU S14E22)
|Appearing in Series A: Kathryn Erbe||May 8, 2013||When Rollins becomes the victim of a sniper, Alexandra Eames once again unites with Benson to investigate the Homeland aspects of the case.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Homicide||N/A||"Wonderland Story"
(Law & Order: SVU S15E05)
|Appearing in Series A: Clark Johnson||October 16, 2013||Baltimore Detective Meldrick Lewis heads to New York to attend the retirement party of his former colleague, Sgt. John Munch.||Cameo|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order: LA||N/A||"Jersey Breakdown"
(Law & Order: SVU S15E12)
|Appearing in Series A: Alana de la Garza||January 22, 2014||ADA Barba seeks the help from former LA DDA Connie Rubirosa, who's now an Assistant U.S. Attorney.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Chicago P.D.||N/A||"Comic Perversion"
(Law & Order: SVU S15E15)
(Chicago P.D. S01E06)
|Appearing in Series A: Sophia Bush
Appearing in Series B: Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, David Eigenberg
|February 26, 2014||Chicago detective Erin Lindsay asks the NYPD for help in solving a series of rapes and murders, so Tutuola and Rollins head to Chicago to help Voight and Antonio catch the culprit.||Two–part crossover|
|Chicago Fire||Law & Order: SVU||Chicago P.D.||"Nobody Touches Anything"
(Chicago Fire S03E07)
(Law & Order: SVU S16E07)
"They'll Have to Go Through Me"
(Chicago P.D. S02E07)
|Appearing in Series A: Jason Beghe, Sophia Bush, Kelli Giddish
Appearing in Series B: Jason Beghe, Sophia Bush, Jesse Lee Soffer
Appearing in Series C: Mariska Hargitay, Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish
|November 11–12, 2014||When Firehouse 51 rescues the owner of a house on fire, they find him clutching a suspicious box, so the Chicago Intelligence Unit is brought in for further investigation, leading them to work with Special Victims Unit to take down a child pornography ring.||Three–part crossover|
|Chicago Fire||Chicago P.D.||Law & Order: SVU||"We Called Her Jellybean"
(Chicago Fire S03E21)
"The Number of Rats"
(Chicago P.D. S02E20)
(Law & Order: SVU S16E20)
|Appearing in Series A: Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Mariska Hargitay, Tamara Tunie
Appearing in Series B: Mariska Hargitay, Danny Pino, Ice-T, Peter Scanavino, Jesse Spencer, Eamonn Walker, Nick Gehlfuss
Appearing in Series C: Jason Beghe, Sophia Bush, Jesse Lee Soffer, Marina Squerciati, Brian Geraghty
|April 28–29, 2015||An apartment fire connected to a case of attempted rape and murder in Chicago resembles an unsolved case in New York, so Special Victims Unit and Intelligence work together to find the suspect.||Three–part crossover|
|Law & Order: SVU||Chicago P.D.||N/A||"Nationwide Manhunt"
(Law & Order: SVU S17E14)
"The Song of Gregory William Yates"
(Chicago P.D. S03E14)
|Appearing in Series A: Jason Beghe, Sophia Bush, Jon Seda
Appearing in Series B: Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Eamonn Walker, Brian Tee
|February 10, 2016||Chicago detectives Lindsay and Dawson come to New York to assist in the hunt for two escaped murderers, one of whom is Greg Yates, who returns to Chicago and commits a triple homicide, so SVU detectives Benson and Fin come to Chicago to join in the investigation.||Two–part crossover|
|Chicago Justice||Law & Order||Chicago P.D.||"Uncertainty Principle"
(Chicago Justice S01E02)
|Appearing in Series A: Richard Brooks, Jason Beghe, Marina Squerciati, LaRoyce Hawkins, Amy Morton||March 5, 2017||At the request of Sgt. Hank Voight, Defense Attorney Paul Robinette travels to Chicago to defend Officer Kevin Atwater and faces off against ASA Peter Stone, the son of his former colleague Ben Stone.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Chicago Justice||Law & Order||"The Undiscovered Country"
(Law & Order: SVU S19E13)
|Appearing in Series A: Philip Winchester, Sam Waterston||February 7, 2018||After traveling to New York to attend the funeral for his father, Ben Stone, Chicago ASA Peter Stone accepts a job offer from District Attorney Jack McCoy to work for the DA's office. His first case is the prosecution of ADA Rafael Barba, who is accused of murdering a terminally ill infant.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Chicago Justice||N/A||"Zero Tolerance"
(Law & Order: SVU S20E03)
|Appearing in Series A: Carl Weathers||October 4, 2018||After an illegal immigrant child is separated from her mother, ADA Stone seeks out the help from his former boss, Chicago State's Attorney Mark Jefferies, to reunite them.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||N/A||"Hunt, Trap, Rape and Release"
(Law & Order: SVU S22E07)
|Appearing in Series A: Annabella Sciorra||February 18, 2021||Benson and the squad team up with former Major Case Squad detective Carolyn Barek, who's the new Bronx SVU Lieutenant, when a serial rapist strikes in Manhattan.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order: Organized Crime||N/A||"Return of the Prodigal Son"
(Law & Order: SVU S22E09)
"What Happens in Puglia"
(Law & Order: Organized Crime S01E01)
|Appearing in Series A: Christopher Meloni
Appearing in Series B: Mariska Hargitay
|April 1, 2021||The squad rallies around former SVU Detective Eliot Stabler after threat is made on his family.||Two–part crossover|
|Law & Order: Organized Crime||Law & Order: SVU||N/A||"Not Your Father's Organized Crime"
(Law & Order: Organized Crime S01E02)
|Appearing in Series A: Mariska Hargitay||April 8, 2021||Stabler chats with Benson in her car about their awkward meeting in the lobby and the fact that Stabler is suffering from PTSD.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: Organized Crime||Law & Order: SVU||N/A||"The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of"
(Law & Order: Organized Crime S01E04)
|Appearing in Series A: Mariska Hargitay, Peter Scanavino||April 22, 2021||ADA Carisi Jr. assists Stabler and Sgt. Ayanna Bell into getting Izak Bekhar to accept working with them to bring down Richard Wheatley. Benson helps Stabler's children in staging an intervention for Stabler to deal with his PTSD.||Guest appearance|
|Law & Order: SVU||Law & Order: Organized Crime||N/A||"Trick-Rolled at the Moulin"
(Law & Order: SVU S22E013)
"An Inferior Product"
(Law & Order: Organized Crime S01E05)
|Appearing in Series A: Christopher Meloni
Appearing in Series B: Mariska Hargitay, Demore Barnes
|May 13, 2021||After a string of drug related crimes, Benson and Stabler work together to solve the case.||Two–part crossover|
John Munch crossoversEdit
The character John Munch, who originated on Homicide: Life on the Street, is notable for either appearing in or being referenced in a wide variety of other series, ranging from appearing in the science fiction series The X-Files, to the sitcom Arrested Development, to being referenced by name in the UK crime drama Luther. Whether or not this places these series in the Law & Order universe is a matter of debate.
New York Undercover (1994–1998)
- Co-created by Kevin Arkadie and Dick Wolf, NYU was implicitly a part of the same universe as the franchise, as psychologist and psychiatrist characters from L&O appeared in the series and there were glimpses of the franchise's fictional newspaper, the New York Ledger.
- Also created by Dick Wolf, featured reporters based at the New York Ledger.
- This series starred Stephanie March as Alexandra Cabot, Anson Mount as Jim Steele, Eric Balfour as Brian Peluso, J. August Richards as Billy Desmond, Milena Govich as Jessica Rossi, Julianne Nicholson as Christina Finn, and Jordan Bridges as Nick Potter. March reprises her role of Cabot originally from SVU and is now the Homicide Bureau Chief ADA. Cabot would return to SVU after this show's end. The series features a larger ensemble cast of young ADAs, with no police, therapists or medical examiners in lead roles. After its cancellation, two of the show's actresses, Milena Govich and Julianne Nicholson, went on to star in Law & Order and Law & Order: Criminal Intent respectively as Detectives Nina Cassady and Megan Wheeler.
The franchise, as a result of its popularity, has led to the adaptation of scripts from the American series into foreign-produced series. These are:
Paris enquêtes criminelles (Paris Criminal Investigations)
- 3 seasons, 20 episodes (May 3, 2007 – November 6, 2008)
Paris Criminal Investigations follows the format of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, adapted to Paris and the French legal system, with detectives from the Prefecture of Police DRPJ and the Ministère public attempting to secure a conviction. The series stars Vincent Pérez, Sandrine Rigaux, Jacques Pater, Hélène Godec, Laure Killing, and Audrey Looten. The show is also aired in Germany on ZDF, under the title Law & Order: Paris.
Закон и Порядок. Отдел оперативных расследований (Law & Order: Division of Field Investigations)
- 4 seasons, 84 episodes (2007–2011)
Division of Field Investigations follows the format of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, set in Moscow and adapted to the Russian justice system. The series stars Ivan Oganesyan, Alisa Bogart, Dmitry Brusnikin, Alexander Naumov, Valery Troshin, and Xenia Entelis.
Закон и Порядок. Преступный умысел (Law & Order: Criminal Intent)
- 4 seasons, 84 episodes (2007–2011)
Criminal Intent follows the format of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, set in Moscow and is adapted to the Russian Justice System. The series stars Mikhail Homyakov, Igor Lagutin, Elena Kovalchuk and Boris Mironov.
- 8 series, 53 episodes (February 23, 2009 – June 11, 2014)
UK follows the format of the original Law & Order show but adapts it to the new setting of London, with detectives from the Metropolitan Police CID and the Crown Prosecution Service attempting to secure a conviction. The series stars Bradley Walsh, Jamie Bamber, Harriet Walter, Ben Daniels, Freema Agyeman, Bill Paterson, Paul Nicholls, Dominic Rowan, Georgia Taylor, Peter Davison, Sharon Small, Paterson Joseph, and Ben Bailey Smith.
|Series||Television seasons||No. of|
Most of the American series have been filmed almost entirely in the New York City area. The fictional Hudson University is a recurring location across multiple series in the franchise, based on an amalgam of Columbia University and New York University, with some other colleges appearing as additional filming locations. Hudson University has also appeared less frequently in many other television series and movies, and is a fictional college in the DC universe.
The original Law & Order series has filmed a few episodes in the Los Angeles area and Baltimore; these episodes or portions of episodes were set in the cities in which they were filmed and concerned multi-jurisdictional investigations or extradition. Law & Order: LA expanded the franchise to a new main city, the new series' namesake. L&O: LA was canceled after one season.
Effects on castingEdit
With some frequency, actors have appeared on the various series that make up the franchise, usually as different (sometimes very different) characters. This is because filming occurs in the New York City area and thus draws from the same pool of actors. Some prominent examples of the same actor playing different roles in different episodes are:
- S. Epatha Merkerson playing a maid whose child was killed in a season 1 episode of the original L&O before joining the cast in season 4 as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren and going on to be the longest-serving cast member of the parent series. Merkerson also plays Sharon Goodwin in the Chicago franchise which has shared numerous crossovers with SVU
- Diane Neal playing a female rapist in an earlier season of Special Victims Unit before becoming the Assistant District Attorney for that series.
- Annabella Sciorra playing a criminal defense attorney in Trial by Jury and later Det. Mike Logan's (Chris Noth) partner in Criminal Intent
- Jerry Orbach playing a defense attorney on the original series before joining it as Det. Lennie Briscoe
- Ice-T playing a pimp known as Seymour Stockton in the franchise's only film, Exiled: A Law & Order Movie, before taking on the role of Tutuola on SVU
- Anthony Anderson playing Detective Lucius Blaine in a seventh-season episode of SVU before playing Bernard on the original Law & Order
- Jeremy Sisto played a defense attorney in the last episode of season 17 before joining the cast as Cyrus Lupo at the start of season 18.
- Kelli Giddish played two different characters on Criminal Intent and SVU before joining the show in season 13 as Amanda Rollins.
- Raúl Esparza played different characters on Law & Order and Criminal Intent before joining SVU in its 14th season as Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba.
- Peter Scanavino played multiple characters in Law & Order, Criminal Intent, Trial by Jury and SVU before joining the last in season 16 as Dominick Carisi.
Also due to the New York filming, a number of actors appearing in Law & Order shows have had regular or recurring roles on soaps. Most notable is Tamara Tunie, who simultaneously played both medical examiner Melinda Warner on SVU as well as (until 2007) District Attorney Jessica Griffin on As the World Turns. Likewise, New York theater actors have also been frequently cast.
Also as the result of sharing the same pool of New York-based television actors, the series' casts have had significant overlap with that of the former HBO series Oz. This is perhaps most pronounced in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, whose cast has included three regularly credited actors (Christopher Meloni, BD Wong and Dean Winters), as well as two recurring actors (J. K. Simmons and Mike Doyle) who were also regularly credited actors on Oz, also Kathryn Erbe from Oz starring in Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Similarly, Law & Order: UK sees significant overlap with other programs' casts; most prominently series regulars Freema Agyeman and Peter Davison, who starred in Doctor Who as companion Martha Jones and the Fifth Doctor as well as Bradley Walsh who joined the show at the same time as Jodie Whittaker the Thirteenth Doctor as her companion Graham O'Brien.
Characters in the franchiseEdit
- Chris Noth joined the main cast of Criminal Intent following his departure from Law & Order.
- Additionally, the characters of Mike Logan, Lennie Briscoe, Rey Curtis, Don Cragen and Anita Van Buren appear in the 1998 TV film Exiled: A Law & Order Movie.
- Dann Florek joined the main cast of SVU following his departure from Law & Order.
- Jerry Orbach joined the main cast of Trial by Jury following his departure from Law & Order.
- Belzer starred as Detective John Munch in all 122 episodes of Homicide prior to joining the cast of SVU. He also appeared in Homicide: The Movie.
- Richard Brooks left Law & Order after the first three seasons and made guest appearances in "Custody", "Birthright" and "Fear America". In those episodes, Paul Robinette serves as a defense attorney.
- Additionally, the character of Jack McCoy appeared in the 1998 TV film Exiled: A Law & Order Movie.
- Carey Lowell starred in Law & Order in seasons seven to eight and made guest appearances in "Justice" and "School Daze". In those episodes, Jamie Ross serves as a defense attorney.
- Fred Dalton Thompson starred consecutively in both Law & Order and Law & Order: Trial by Jury.
- Alana de la Garza joined the main cast of Law & Order: LA following the cancellation of Law & Order.
- During a four season absence from SVU, March headlined the short-lived Conviction as ADA Cabot.
|Series||Character||Portrayed by||Law & Order franchise||Universe||Chicago franchise|
|L&O[O 1]||SVU[O 2]||CI[O 3]||TBJ[O 4]||LA[O 6]||OC[O 8]||HLOTS[O 9]||NYU[O 10]||Con[O 12]||Fire||P.D.||Med||Justice|
|Law & Order||Elizabeth Rodgers, M.D.||Leslie Hendrix[P 1]||Guest||Guest||Guest||Guest|
|Elizabeth Olivet, Ph.D.||Carolyn McCormick||Main||Guest||Guest||Guest||Guest|
|SVU||Melinda Warner, M.D.||Tamara Tunie||Main||Guest||Guest|
|George Huang, Ph.D.||BD Wong||Main|
|Criminal Intent||Paula Gyson, Ph.D.||Julia Ormond||Main|
|Organized Crime||Angela Wheatley||Tamara Taylor||Main|
|Richard Wheatley||Dylan McDermott||Main|
- Additionally, the character of Elizabeth Rogers appears in the 1998 TV film Exiled: A Law & Order Movie.
- Law & Order
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent
- Law & Order: Trial by Jury
- Law & Order: UK
- Law & Order: LA (previously Law & Order: Los Angeles)
- Law & Order True Crime
- Law & Order: Organized Crime
- Homicide: Life on the Street
- New York Undercover
- In Plain Sight
- Chicago Fire
- Chicago P.D.
- Chicago Med
- Chicago Justice
- FBI: Most Wanted
- FBI: International
|Series||Character||Portrayed by||True Crime|
|The Menendez Murders||Leslie Abramson||Edie Falco||Main|
|Erik Menendez||Gus Halper||Main|
|Lyle Menendez||Miles Gaston Villanueva||Main|
- The colors represent which series the character appeared in as a main cast member. In the case a character was a main cast member in two series, the color of the one in which they appeared in the most is shown.
- Hargitay has appeared as Benson in all but nine episodes of SVU; she missed one episode in Season 6, one in Season 7, five during Season 8, one in Season 10, and one in Season 12.
- Florek left the cast of Law & Order in 1993. He became an original cast member of SVU in 1999. Florek left the main cast of SVU in January 2014, but returned for a guest appearance in May 2015.
- After the conclusion of Law & Order in 2010, Waterston made an appearance as McCoy on SVU in 2018.
- Belzer originated the Munch character on HLOTS in 1993, before becoming an original cast member of SVU in 1999.
- Belzer left the main cast of SVU in 2014 after appearing sporadically during seasons 11–15. He returned for a guest appearance on SVU in May 2016.
- Meloni left the cast of SVU in 2011, but returned in a lead role on Organized Crime in April 2021.
- Hendrix always appeared as Rodgers in a recurring role and not as a primary cast member.
- After departing Law & Order in 1999, Bratt returned for a guest appearance during the final season in 2009.
- After departing Law & Order in 1993, Brooks returned for guest appearances in seasons 6, 16, and 17, along with an appearance on Chicago Justice in 2017.
- Hennessy's twin sister Jacqueline played Kincaid in one episode in season 6, due to a scheduling conflict.
- Porter-Benson always appeared in a recurring role and not as a primary character.
- "Ask the Editors"; TV Guide; April 19, 2010; Page 6.
- Dan Gunderman (13 September 2016). "Examining the legendary 'dun, dun' sound from 'Law & Order' on the anniversary of the pilot episode". New York Daily News.
- Jodha, Michael (October 3, 2012). "There's no shortage of crimes for 'SVU,' says executive producer". CTV. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
- Gelman, Vlada (February 6, 2015). "Report: NBC Eyeing Law & Order Revival, With Original Stars". TV Line. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 6, 2015). "NBC Eyes 'Law & Order' Limited Series". Deadline. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
- Trevor Kimball (February 27, 2020). "Law & Order: SVU: Seasons 22, 23 & 24; Dick Wolf Series Scores Record Renewals from NBC". TV Series Finale.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 31, 2020). "Christopher Meloni As 'SVU' Character Elliot Stabler To Headline New Dick Wolf Drama Series For NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
- Throne, Will (June 2, 2020). "Dick Wolf Fires Writer From 'Law & Order' Spinoff for Threatening to 'Light Up' Looters". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie (June 16, 2020). "NBC Fall 2020 Schedule: Addition Of 'Law & Order: SVU' Spinoff Starring Christopher Meloni Marks Only Change". Deadline Hollywood.
- Andreeva, Nellie (August 27, 2020). "NBC Sets Premiere Dates For Tweaked Fall Schedule; Scripted Series Delayed; 'New Amsterdam', 'Brooklyn', 'Manifest', 'Law & Order: Organized Crime' Held For 2021". Deadline Hollywood.
- Roots, Kimberly (May 14, 2021). "Law & Order: Organized Crime Renewed for Season 2 at NBC". TVLine.
- Scott, Andrew (May 13, 2010). "Law & Order officially cancelled". TV Squad (AOL). Retrieved May 14, 2010.
- Carter, Bill (May 17, 2010). "'Law & Order' Creator Still Looking to Bring Original Back". The New York Times.
- "AMC Investigates Reviving Law & Order". Vulture. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Levin, Gary (July 30, 2010). "'Law & Order' is L.A.-bound". USA Today. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
- Mitovich, Matt (July 11, 2011). "No Reprieve for Law & Order: CI: 'It Was a Good Series Finale,' Says USA Network Boss". TV Line. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- Mirkinson, Jack (May 13, 2011). "'Law And Order: LA' Canceled By NBC". Huffington Post.
- Levin, Gary (May 13, 2011). "NBC renews 'Chuck' for final season". USA Today.
- Carter, Bill (May 13, 2011). "Upfronts: Networks Order New Shows and Cancel Others". The New York Times.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 6, 2016). "NBC & Dick Wolf Developing 'Law & Order: True Crime' Anthology Series; 1st Season To Tackle Menendez Brothers Murders". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
- Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders Trailer Promises to Finally Tell the True Story
- Gelman, Vlada (February 3, 2017). "Law & Order: True Crime: Edie Falco Cast as Menendez Brothers' Attorney". TVLine. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
- Porter, Rick (May 14, 2018). "'Law & Order True Crime' isn't canceled, but it's also not coming back next season". TV By The Numbers. Archived from the original on May 14, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- "NBC orders new 'Law & Order' series that focuses on hate crimes". EW.com. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
- Blistein, Jon (2018-09-05). "NBC Orders 'Law and Order: Hate Crimes'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
- "NBC orders new Law & Order series that focuses on hate crimes". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2019). "'Law & Order: Hate Crimes' Series Pushed At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- "Law & Order: Hate Crimes Spinoff Likely Bound for Peacock Streaming Service Due to Language Concerns". TVLine. June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 3, 2021). "'Law & Order: For the Defense' Spinoff From Dick Wolf & Carol Mendelsohn Gets NBC Series Order". Deadline Hollywood.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 14, 2021). "NBC 2021-22 Schedule: 'Law & Order' Thursday, 'This Is Us' Farewell In Midseason, No Comedies In Fall". Deadline Hollywood.
- Goldberg, Lesley (July 15, 2021). "'Law & Order: For the Defense' Spinoff Scrapped at NBC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
- Andreeva, Nellie (July 15, 2021). "'Law & Order: For the Defense' Not Moving Forward, New 'L&W' Spinoff In Works At NBC". Deadline. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
- ""The Paley Center Presents Law & Order: Before They Were Stars" Looks Back at Franchise's Legacy of Actors". The Futon Critic. October 28, 2020.
- Barron, James (March 29, 2010). "Where Everyone Majors in Murder". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
- Megan Driscoll. "Hudson University in New York: Fact or Fiction?". study.com. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- Orquiola, John (May 13, 2020). "Legends of Tomorrow Season 5 Visits Dick Grayson's College (Does He Exist?)". Screen Rant. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
- "(#102) Uncertainty Principle". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 7, 2017.